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What's the deal with Meade and GEMs?

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#1 Rand Barthel

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:42 PM

It seems Meade is just not that interested in German EQ mounts any more. They also don't seem interested in selling OTAs separately either. Looking on their website, all of their scope lines except the most basic (LX80) are fork mounts, and you can't buy either OTAs or mounts separately. Unless they've hidden them cleverly on their website. All of which is too bad, because I would be much more interested in their OTAs if you could put them on third party mounts like Orion or iOptron.

I heard there were problems with the LX80 GE-capable mount. Have those been resolved?

#2 austin.grant

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:45 PM

I went to Meade.com, waited 3.17 seconds, and the LX850 popped-up in the box in the center of the screen. About 7.48 seconds later, the refractor OTA's popped up. Didn't seem very hidden to me, but perhaps I'm just more astute than the average guy? :question:

#3 blueman

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:54 PM

I just went to their page and they have no listings for the SCT OTAs. Can you post a link?
Blueman

#4 austin.grant

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 12:17 AM

Did you try here? I don't think they sell the SCT's separately. I suppose 2 outta 3 ain't bad?

Meade ACF Optical Tubes

**Whoops! I'd selected (f/8) in my link. Click the X and you'll get to see the rest.

#5 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:25 AM

Rand, et. al,

You completely forgot about the LX850 which is an excellent high end GEM.

Mind you, many folks still love fork mounts. There are pros and cons to Forks vs. GEMS. I have the LX850 now and love what I can do with it. But I am also looking now at the 10" LX600 for travel and more public outreach events. Plus the LX850 is moving into an observatory now. I will also get the LX600 with the wedge as I have had success with the Superwedge on the LX200.

Don't forget there other OTAs from Meade - the Meade 6000 Series APOs. Excellent units.

I don't want to get in the Fork vs. GEM debate, but there is certainly a need for high end fork mounts.

#6 Rand Barthel

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:39 AM

Point taken. I guess I have been ignoring things that are wildly out of my price range. :)

#7 LLEEGE

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:03 AM

While not listed on their web site, a quick check of a few vendors shows they sell Meade OTA's a la carte.

#8 ahopp

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:21 AM

http://store.meade.com/acf-ota.html

#9 Rand Barthel

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 11:20 PM

OK, I admit it. I commented in haste before doping out the Meade website, which is divided rather sharply between an informational site and an online store. As I continue to daydream about how to spend lots of money that I don't have now but expect to have once we recover from our kids' college years, I guess I will now have to headscratch the relative merits of the Meade ACF-SCTs vs. the Celestron EdgeHD.

So Meade DOES have GEM mounts, but their poduct line has GEMs at the entry level (LX80) and the very high end (LX850) and forks in the middle (LX90, LX200, and LX600). By contrast, the Celestron line is more GEM-heavy, with only the CPC series having fork mounts.

I now perceive that my partiality toward Celestron comes from the fact that I am partial to GEMs, and Celestron has more to offer in the mid-price range were I will probably buy. Will the astro-gods strike me down for blasphemy if I mate a Meade OTA to a Celestron mount?

#10 LLEEGE

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:46 AM

No, however, there are other mid range price point options out there. Losmandy, Takahashi, Synta, Ioptron, etc....
And let's not for get the AP Mach1.

#11 rmollise

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:08 AM

AP and Tak are "mid price"?! Not around here. :lol:

#12 Lee Jay

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:25 AM

AP and Tak are "mid price"?! Not around here. :lol:


They are if you include companies like Planewave.

#13 orlyandico

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:58 AM

Tak EM-3500 with pier - 350lb capacity, $83000
AP 3600GTO - 300lb capacity, $20000

That AP is damn cheap if you ask me :D (for someone who actually needed 300lb capacity)

#14 rmollise

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:12 AM

They are if you include companies like Planewave.


Uhh...I don't. Not by a purty long shot. :lol:

#15 Rand Barthel

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 11:50 AM

My first rule for this is "no second mortgages to pay for astronomy." So I think that lets AP and PlaneWave off the hook. iOptron looks like a real possibility though.

#16 frolinmod

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:03 PM

Looking at the resale value of all my nighttime gear, all I have to say is, "Wow, that was one expensive 'rental!'"

#17 orlyandico

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:08 PM

Cheaper than what a lot of people spend ricing up their cars..

A single long Canon white lens or a flagship DSLR can cost more than a Mach1. Heck I have a macro lens that costs more than all my scopes put together - and it's considered a midrange lens.

#18 rmollise

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:43 PM

Cheaper than what a lot of people spend ricing up their cars..

A single long Canon white lens or a flagship DSLR can cost more than a Mach1. Heck I have a macro lens that costs more than all my scopes put together - and it's considered a midrange lens.


I don't have any white lenses either...but my more prole Canon gear has no trouble turning out the publication quality images I need. So it is with my scopes and mounts, too...I frankly wouldn't know what to do with the high priced spread and it would be wasted on little old me. :lol:

#19 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:44 PM

OK, I admit it. I commented in haste before doping out the Meade website, which is divided rather sharply between an informational site and an online store. As I continue to daydream about how to spend lots of money that I don't have now but expect to have once we recover from our kids' college years, I guess I will now have to headscratch the relative merits of the Meade ACF-SCTs vs. the Celestron EdgeHD.

So Meade DOES have GEM mounts, but their poduct line has GEMs at the entry level (LX80) and the very high end (LX850) and forks in the middle (LX90, LX200, and LX600). By contrast, the Celestron line is more GEM-heavy, with only the CPC series having fork mounts.

I now perceive that my partiality toward Celestron comes from the fact that I am partial to GEMs, and Celestron has more to offer in the mid-price range were I will probably buy. Will the astro-gods strike me down for blasphemy if I mate a Meade OTA to a Celestron mount?



Nah, they won't strike you down. They accept those mixed marriage things. ;)

Still, a lot of us prefer forks over GEMS, especially in the mid-range. I know I would take a fork for my mid-range travel scope any time over a GEM.

I will likely get the 10" LX600, and donate my 22 year old 10" LX200 to my kids. It still works and is in excellent shape.

#20 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 05:59 AM

My first rule for this is "no second mortgages to pay for astronomy." So I think that lets AP and PlaneWave off the hook. iOptron looks like a real possibility though.


My first rule is if "the money isn't in the bank to pay for it, I don't buy."

I am with Rod... A-P is not midrange..

Jon

#21 DaveJ

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 12:28 PM

I am with Rod... A-P is not midrange.


Depends on how you look at it. I've purchased many midrange mounts and have not been truly happy with any of them, yet I keep doing it! If I'd just bitten the bullet back at the beginning and bought a new Mach I (or AP900) as I wanted, I'd have the mount I'd love to own and use AND be money ahead. There's an old expression "I'm too poor to buy cheap" or something like that. It applies in my case.

#22 SteveGR

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:31 PM

It will be interesting the way Meade goes, I wonder how much the purchase will affect the product line and how quickly?

#23 rmollise

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 02:57 PM

If AP could produce an HC with the go-to accuracy of the NexStar, I could be convinced. 10K still doesn't spell mid-range, though, not for most of us peons. :lol:

#24 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:13 PM

If AP could produce an HC with the go-to accuracy of the NexStar, I could be convinced. 10K still doesn't spell mid-range, though, not for most of us peons. :lol:


Don't forget with Meade Starlock the go-to accuracy is spot on every time and the starting price there is $4500. Still pricey, but better than $10k. Of course the LX850 reaches the $10k price range too on the upper end.

The Lightswitch I understand also has excellent goto accuracy compared to the NexStar (heck, so does my LX200). So it can been done cheaper.

AP - yeah, that is not midrange at all.

#25 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:13 PM

If AP could produce an HC with the go-to accuracy of the NexStar, I could be convinced. 10K still doesn't spell mid-range, though, not for most of us peons. :lol:


Don't forget with Meade Starlock the go-to accuracy is spot on every time and the starting price there is $4500. Still pricey, but better than $10k. Of course the LX850 reaches the $10k price range too on the upper end.

The Lightswitch I understand also has excellent goto accuracy compared to the NexStar (heck, so does my LX200). So it can been done cheaper.

AP - yeah, that is not midrange at all.






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